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Sunday, 30 November 2014

SAFE HOUSE TORTURES ARE WORSE THAN THE TODLER'S MAID

MAID BUTTERS A TODDLER
A video went viral where a maid in Uganda is physically battering a toddler has caused outrage globally. The act was inhuman and deserves strong condemnation. Criminal investigators should endeavor to establish the motive  if society is to be freed from a repeat of similar incidents. They should look at how her employers were treating her more especially the mother of the toddler. In most African societies ,such mistreatment of children is carried out by co-wives and step mothers out of jealousy. It is also common for mistresses to feel insecure with maids who have good physical looks hence they tend to intimidate, degrade, demonise, etc as a preemptive  measure to avert a potential crisis in case the lusty husband strays to the house maid. Historically some attractive house maids and slaves have turned out to be mistresses and second ladies. Therefore, there is need for the suspect maid to be accorded justice by listening to her side of the story for any mitigating factors before we condemn her.  For example was she not battered by her masters and how far did the police go with that case she had opened at the police station?

 POLICE'S OPPORTUNISM
The government swiftly moved in to steal the show. The DPP yielded to pressure and ammended the charge sheet to attempted murder. The Inspector General of Police and Director of Criminal Investigations ordered for the toddler to be accorded a special medical examination by a team of specialists. Their action is not out of love for human life but intended to crudely find a life threatening medical condition that would justify the charge of attempted murder. To sustain a charge of murder such a finding would constitute a vital ingredient.
earlier the parents of the toddler has repeatedly stated that that they had satisfactorily taken the toddler for medical examination and was found to be fine. Given the fact that the parents are well to do Ugandans, they had availed their baby the best medical examination. The Police is now trying to opportunistically pretend to love and care for the toddler more than the biological parents. Why didnt they use the Police surgeon as is usually the case with other victims. Therefore the insistence by the Police to have the baby reexamined may produce concocted results that would lead to miscarriage of justice. Moreover, the guy who posted the clips online is Desh Kananura who is facing charges of torturing his poor worker to death and the case is dragging because of his strong connections.

 DR. BESIGYE'S TORTURER IS EXONERATED
Torture in Uganda is the order of the day. The maid was born and has grown up to the age of 24 years when Museveni was and remains President for the last 28 years. The maid must have been watching on TV where the police is manhandling political opponents in front of the cameras. Such repeated nasty scenes are negatively impacting on society especially children and the youth. As the the world focused its attention on the maid video, the police officer who brutally tortured Dr. Besigye was let off the hook. In 2011 police officer Arinaitwe Bwana son of NRA's Major Victor Bwana (RIP) was caught on camera smashing the windscreen of Dr. Besigye's car using a pistol butt before spraying a canister of tear gas directly into his eyes. Thereafter Dr. Besigye is seen being carried and stuffed under the metallic mounted seats of the police pick up truck. Dr. Besigye went blind for some time until he had to be flown out of the country for specialised treatment before regaining his sight. To hoodwink Ugandans as usual the Police pretended to prefer charges of assault on Arinaitwe Bwana but no trial ever took off and now four years later, the DPP has withdrawn the charges declaring Arinaitwe having done nothing bad. Now the other police officers will have to act without fear of repercussions hence the public should expect the worst. What about the toddler in Masaka who was shot dead by anti-riot police?

SAFE HOUSES
The Museveni regime initiated a practice of kidnapping, detaining and torturing its perceived opponents in secret ungazzeted torture chambers commonly referred to as 'safe houses'. In the safe houses, victims undergo gruesome physical and psychological torture by security operatives. Thousands have fallen victims with many killed while some are permanently maimed including loosing their manhood. Imagine what takes place in different safe houses in Kampala and in the torture chambers at VCCU headquarters in Kireka, CMI, Makindyebarracks go-downs etc. Imagine what Manenero had to go through at the CMI headquarters before being killed by now Col Herbert Makanga.

Therefore, the action of the maid is a reflection of an institutionalized practice by the regime that is now taking its psychological toll. For all those who are stunned by maid's action and branding her  lion-hearted, hold back your tears because you will need them when the video footages from torture in the safe houses go viral.


INFORMATION IS POWER




ELECTORAL REFORMS COMPACT IS 'TREASONOUS' - MUSEVENI

BACKGROUND
Uganda's Yoweri Museveni came to power 28 years ago following a guerrilla war against the UPC government that had won the first Post Iddi Amin national elections. He launched the guerrilla war on grounds that the elections had been rigged. Upon coming to power, he promised to run a four year interim period before the country could return to democratic dispensation. At the end of the four years, he extended his reign for another five years under the pretence of putting in place a new constitution. Indeed the constitution was made and it came into effect in 1995. Among the major highlights of the new constitution was the provision for a two five year term for the President. During all this period, multiparty political activities had been banned and every citizen was by law compelled to belong to his movement system (NRM). He introduced the army became a major political player in the management of society. In 1996 he contested in the multiparty elections under the new constitution and won though the ground was not levelled. Again in 2001 he contested amidst tight competition from his former bush war comrade Dr. Besigye and the role of the military in keeping him in power came to light. In 2005 he amended the constitution to remove term limits in order to contest in 2006 claiming that he wanted to be given another chance so that as to professionalise the army before he retires. Unknown to majority Ugandans, Museveni was simply buying time to personalise the army so that he rules for life. In 2011 he used very sophisticated rigging methods of intimidation and bribery to regain the presidency. All indications are that he is to run for another term come 2016 as he prepares his son to succeed him thereafter. During the last one and a half decades, his regime has demonstrated ruthless intolerance, intimidation, detention, torture, killing etc of real or perceived political opponents. The human rights record is very alarming as he completes the total privatisation of the armed forces. The rampant institutionalised corruption, nepotisim, secterianism, patronage and outright theft of public resources is the identity of the regime. With his personal total control of all institutions of governance i.e parliament, judiciary, armed forces, electoral body, traditional cultural institutions while allying more with repressive regimes in the former eastern block, there is no doubt he is running a military dictatorship.

It is against the above background that this week desperate Ugandans convened to discuss the destiny of their motherland. About 3000 political and religious leaders, elders, civil society, and opinions leaders drawn from all corners of Uganda convened for three days. Museveni and his ruling NRM boycotted the assembly. The assembly came up with one voice as contained in a compact of electoral reforms that they feel if implemented will save the country from sliding into chaos and stir it forward to stability. However, such proposals no matter how good they may be, to Museveni they amount to treason simply because they threaten his power base thus personal control of the institutions listed above but moreso they have been proposed by what he terms as reactionaries, counter-revolutionaries, enemies/terrorists, and agents of western imperialism.
 
ELECTORAL REFORMS COMPACT
Below, i take insight into some of the no-go areas:

1. Electoral Commission
    - to be subjected to open application, selected by Judicial Service Commission, vetted by parliament and
      appointed by the President for a one year term. Staff of the commission, returning officers, presiding
      officers, polling assistants to be subjected to open selection through advertising.

Museveni will not accept this proposal because his exclusive authority to appoint the Chairman and commissioners has been a big back up to his rigging machinery. Its the Chairman and commissioners whom he uses to suppress opposition election contenders. The rest of the secretariat staff down to the polling station are either cadres of his political organisation or members of his secret police (ISO) whom he uses to stuff ballot boxes and alter the election results. It is such people he has used in the past to break into the commission's offices and hack into its computers.

2.  ROLE OF THE SECURITY SERVICES
     - Military to have no involvement whatsoever in the electoral process, ensuring law and order during
       during elections be left to the regular police under the control of and direction of the electoral
       commission, police to be impartial and to ensure public order, army and police personnel to vote from
       regular polling stations, movement and deployment of army should be restricted and monitored in
       period before, during and after elections under arrangement agreed upon at the national
       consultation, formation and deployment  of militias is absolutely illegal, CDF to take charge of all men
       and women in service, president to relinguish tactical command and control of armed forces to the
       joint chiefs of and must not serve as chairman of the UPDF high command, membership of the UPDF
       high command should not be personal to holder, independent security service commission to determine
       discipline, promotion, commission as well as handle complaints and other matters relating to the army,
       police, and other security agencies.

During the past elections, Museveni had not completed the militarisation of the Police. Now that police is fully militarised, he will keep the army out of elections. Since the police and his special army (SFG) under the command of his son are now fused in terms of role, it will be difficult for the so called regular police to play a neutral role. In order to intimidate his opponents and monitor the voting perterns police and army personnel he will accept their voting from public polling stations. He will use the cover of security breach since during elections, the army and police are placed under high security alert. The creation of illegal militias is already ongoing in form of crime preventers who are the newly recruited youthful party cadres. He wont relinguish the chairmanship of the army high command because his army is his private company where he has 100% shareholding and is the CEO. He wont allow an independent security service commission since he uses his personal control of the security forces to ensure personal loyalty. 

3. TRIMMING PRESIDENTIAL POWERS
    - Separate selection, approval and appointment process for independent commissions, agencies,
       regulatory bodies, and independent bodies to ensure security of tenure that fully guard against
       capricious actions by appointing authorities. Powers of the President should be restricted to issuing the
       instruments of appointment for persons who have gone through the appointment process by an
       independent body.

Museveni wont accept this proposal because his exclusive personal control of these bodies because they are a source of his much needed public resources that are stolen left and right. He uses appointments and secondment to such bodies to award his family members, cohorts and cronies. He uses such powers to lure fence sitters while punishing those whose personal loyalty to him is in doubt. NSSF, BOU, UWA, NEMA, URA, UCC, KCCA, NFA, UNRA, etc

4.  LIMITING PRESIDENTIAL DONATIONS AND STATE HOUSE BUDGET
     - Presidential donations above 500 currency units shall require the prior approval of of a relevant
       parliamentary committee. Annual budget for presidential donations shall not exceed 0.5% of the current
       budget for state house.

Museveni will not accept this proposal because he has been using presidential donations as a weapon of patronage. They are also used to punish individuals and certain geographical entities that dont vote for him. These donations provide a cover for stealing public resources through state house taking a lion's share of the national budget. He is fond of carrying and issuing out of loads of money in envolopes and sacks during public functions. Moreover, much of the pledges are not fulfilled but used to hold the intended benefactors in waiting as they vote him.

5.  SEPARATING THE STATE FROM THE RULING PARTY
     -  Abolition of the patriotism secretariate under the president's office, Resident District Commissioners to
        be abolished or transferred to the public service commission, National Institute for Political Education
        (NRM political school) at Kyankwanzi should be abolished.

This is totally unacceptable by Museveni because he is in advanced stages of re-writing the history of Uganda to start from the time he came to power. He is following the North Korean model by targeting the unsuspecting youths in schools through the compulsory patriotism clubs. In the near future, all appointments and secondment to public offices, access to institutions of higher learning and eligibility to any elective office will require a qualification of either having belonged to the patriotism club or having attended the political school at Kyankwanzi. He has been using appointment of RDCs woo fence sitters so that they switch sides and awarding his choice of electoral contenders who are sometimes rejected by the electorate. Above all, an RDC as the chairman of the district security committee is charged with harassing and neutralising dissenters in their respective areas. The RDC is the representative of the President in a particular district and as the topmost party cadre he is charged with implementing the party manifesto. In the near future we are to see the creation of regions and the appointment of regional commissioners. We are also to about to see an increase of soldiers manning these positions.

6. FREEDOM TO ORGANIZE AND ASSEMBLE
    -  the public order management act (POMA) to be repealed, Police Amendment Act (2006) to be
        amended in line with the bill of rights under the constitution, national consultation to institute an
        independent commission that will monitor the police in the electoral process, formulation of
        transparent police operating procedures for public order in the context of campaigns and and through
        out electoral process, equal media access and fair coverage, selection of presiding officers and
        polling assistants should be with approval of all political parties, formers members of any secret service
        organisations or militia not to be appointed to any supervisory role in the electoral process, all election
        results to be declared at constituency level, a credible and independent judiciary to adjucate electoral
        disputes, electoral commission to monitor internal democracy of all political parties, expelled party
        members should not loose their parliamentary seats, army representation in parliament should be
        removed, restoration of two five year term limits of the president.

Denial and suppression of freedom to organise and assemble has been and continues to be a major weapon used by Museveni since time in memorial. In the late 80s, the traditional parties (DP and UPC) had their activities curtailed for almost a decade. Because Museveni fears being challenged over his lies and manipulations, he uses all means to suppress dissent by branding them terrorists or anti-development. The draconian POMA was introduced to reinforce that design and will therefore have to remain in place at all cost. The now militarised police will be required in its present form to ensure Museveni's victory. There cant be equal access to media because Museveni monopolises the government media houses and uses the UCC to intimidate private media houses. He has already positioned cadre judges and justices in strategic positions of the judiciary while at the samwe time he has tamed to Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to serve his interests. Former members of the secret police will not leave the electoral offices because they are Museveni's agents of rigging and intimidation. Declaring of results at constituency level will not be accepted by Museveni because it would undermine his sinister design to use cadre chairman and commissioners to act in favor of the regime. All the other electoral reforms will not be implemented because Museveni's party has majority members in parliament.
       
7.  IMPLEMENTATION
     -  undertaking actions to guarantee the implementation of the proposals like petitioning parliament for the
        MPs to enact the laws, a citizens task force to present the petition to the speaker, a coordinating team
        to coordinate the implementation, popularising the compact by leaders, leaders to mobilise support for
        the compact, translation of compact into major Ugandan languages and dissemination, lobbying and
        mobilising citizens to demand for full implementation of this compact.

Petitioning parliament where Museveni has always used his majority members to push through his wishes is just a formality. However, using a team of eminent national leaders to hand over the petition to the speaker would be a big score. Reconvening to lay strategies for the implementation of the compact will be declared an illegal assembly under the POMA. Mobilising citizens across the country to to support the implementation of the pact will be branded incitement for an uprising will be suppressed  under the POMA. The translation and dissemination of the compact document will be stopped and such copies of a 'subversive document' 
confiscated before it reaches the grassroot. 

CONCLUSION
The assembling of over 3000 national leaders from all corners of the Ugandan society is a reflection of a national voice. It is a good step in the right direction at the right time. This is what the Museveni regime fears most thus the reason they had to boycott the conference.
Therefore, Museveni will ensure that the move is nabbed in the bud before it takes root. Civil society organisations, church leaders and opinion leaders will be threatened to back off using POMA and bribery while some NGOs will be threatened with canceling their licenses.  Its a time for Ugandans to realise why Museveni appointed General Aronda to the Internal Affairs Ministry.
Otherwise, the move if successful will be an attempt provide the missing link. Its an attempt to question and shake Museveni's grip on security forces as his power base hence 'TREASONOUS'.

Ugandans should treat the move as a first shot to liberate the country.Congratulations to the initiators, organizers and participants.

INFORMATION IS POWER



   

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

MUSEVENIS HYPOCRISY IN BLACK AND WHITE

Museveni's 28 years grip on power has thrived on lies and manipulations. On 18th September The Daily Monitor ran a interview with one of Uganda's distinguished politician and former leader of the DP Paul Kawange Ssemogerere. In the interview Paul Ssemogerere explained among other issues, the independence struggle during the 1950s when Museveni had not come on the political scene.  Responding to that interview Museveni wrote; "Why did Ugandan elites chose to start another political party in 1954 - 56 DP when other Ugandans had already started another political party ....the UNC....to demand for Uganda's  independence.? In the elites were genuinely interested in independence, was it not easier to work together? or could could it be that these Ugandans dis not care about independence ? What was it that was not in DP that was not in UNC?"

It is a fact that the two traditional political parties in Uganda; DP and UPC were founded on religious foundation i.e catholic and protestant respectively. The two religions were introduced into Uganda by both catholic and protestant missionaries representing France and England respectively. The English took the day by colonising Uganda and Protestantism had the privilege of being associated with the colonial power. Therefore the UNC later UPC had protestant foundation and the catholic countered it by forming the DP for obvious reasons.  Museveni knows this history very well and the early days when he needed Buganda and DP support he acknowledge that the catholic were at one time persecuted and oppressed. On 18th December 1991 while closing a seminar for District Administrators (DAs) at Kyankwanzi, Museveni stated that "Before the NRM came to power in 1986 the history of Uganda was characterised by one group persecuting and dominating another group of Ugandans. During colonialism the catholic were the persecuted by the protestants because the three major religions had their origins from Turkey (Islam), Catholics (France) and Protestants (England). Even the Buganda agreement of 1900 was heavily loaded inform of Protestants. The Position of Prime Minister was reserved for a Protestant and could not be a catholic. UPC was a protestant faction. Even during the first elections, the Protestants in Buganda allied with the Protestants outside Buganda to form the UPC/KY alliance in order to deny the DP/catholic power. When the UPC was ousted and Amin came with Islam the catholic celebrated and the UPC became the persecuted." That was the Museveni then who two decades later is now questioning why the DP was formed. At the time, a number of DPs were in his government and among the audience were quite a good number of DAs who were DP affiliated.

When Iddi Amin overthrew the government in 1971, former President Milton Obote fled to exile in Tanzania. The government of Tanzania opted to oppose Amin's presidency by supporting efforts to ousit Amin and reinstate the legitimate President Obote who had been ousted. Museveni who had not only been a member of Obote's UPC party  but also a member of his secret Police General Service Unit was also in exile in Tanzania. Instead of rallying behind the ousted President in the fight against Amin, he opted to form his own rag tag organisation called Front For National Salivation (FRONASA). When the exiles converged in Moshi town to form the Uganda National Liberation Front (UNLF) and its army (UNLA) as the post Amin government and army respectively, he opted to undermine it by promoting his own FRONASA faction. It is his preference and promotion of the FRONASA faction in the post Amin army that gave rise to the political turmoil that Uganda has faced since the ouster of Iddi Amin. If he was genuinely interested in ridding Uganda of Iddi Amin was it not easier to work together in Tanzania?

After the overthrow of Iddi Amin and during the 1980 general elections, it was clear that it was the two traditional political parties i.e UPC and DP that would take the day but he opted to form his own UPM party well knowing that he could not even win a single constituency. The only difference here with the DP of the 1950s that represented the oppressed catholic, his UPM was a launching pad for his future Presidential ambitions under cover of a rigged elections.

When some groups like UNLF-AD under the gang of four and UFF under Prof Lule opted to fight the UPC government in 1980, he did not join them but formed his own PRA that eventually neutralised all the other groups and he emerged as the victor and president for the last 28 years. What was in PRA that was not in UFF???

Therefore for those fans of Museveni, watch your back as he changes color according to his personal interests.

INFORMATION IS POWER.


PS KASHAKA BENEFITS FROM MUSEVENI'S CONTROL OF JUDICIARY

In his efforts to strengthen his grip on power, Museveni took over control of the Judiciary by appointing cadre judges and justices. In the same effort he has undermined the independence of the Judicial Service Commission by ignoring their recommendations hence the country is running without a Chief Justice.

In July 2014 the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government, John Muhanguzi Kashaka together with five others were found guilty and convicted for corruption related charges and sentenced to imprisonment and an ordered to refund the money. The trial Judge of the Anti Corruption Court found Josh Kashaka in particular guilty of causing financial loss of US$ 1,719,454.58 (about five billion Ug shillings). The money was a financial scam paid to a non existent company (MS AITEL) for the supply of 70,000 bicycles that the regime intended to procure for the local council leaders shortly before the 2011 rigged elections. John Kashaka as the accounting officer for the Ministry ignored advice of  Bank of Uganda against the deal on grounds that there were discrepancies in the procurement documents presented. He was sentenced to 10 years and ten days imprisonment on top of refunding the money.  As a by the way, the trial judge noted thus "corruption multiplies where there is low risk of punishment."

John Kashaka immediately applied for bail pending appeal on grounds of advanced age and ill health. He lodged it in the Court of Appeal well knowing that the court would not grant it but it was just a formality since he was targeting to be granted the relief by the cadre justices in the Constitutional Court. Delivering her ruling on the bail application, Justice Solome Barungi Bossa stated thus "the convict (Kashaka) had not proved exceptional circumstances to support his request and the high sums of money lost by the government had not been recovered." Bail pending appeal was therefore denied.

Immediately after John Kashaka appealed to the Constitutional Court and the matter has now been expeditiously heard and determined by the Constitutional Court in his favor. Justices Kavuma, Nshimiye and Opio overturned the earlier Court of Appeal ruling thus "The single justice (Salome Bossa) erred in denying the applicant bail.......we are satisfied that all the relevant considerations set out are satisfactory..." Among the three sureties was NRA's Dr Amos Mukumbi (former Director General of Internal Security).  John Kashaka  is a free man enjoying the money he stole while his co-accused who dont have god fathers are languishing in prison. Museveni scored when he indicted a whole Permanent Secretary for corruption but as usual when Ugandas and the donor community went to sleep, the prime suspect is set free.

John Muhanguzi Kashaka is not an ordinary person to be compared by a few others who have been indicted over corruption related charges. He is a son of Rev. Kashaka of Nyabushozi in Mbarara and an elder brother of Museveni's historical Commanders Brig. Steven Kashaka and Col. Francis Kashaka. Brig. Kashaka is Uganda's Military Attache in outh Africa while Col Francis Kashaka is the Western Region Operations and Training Officer of the Reserve Force. The two senior army officers have played a big behind the scenes role in seeing their elder brother freed from jail. At a time Musevenis is trying to handle the displacement of the old guards from the army to create room for his son to take over command, the two senior army officers were caught between the rock and the hard surface. There is no doubt Brig Steven Kashaka can not salute General Mbadi, Katumba, Muhoozi or Angina because of his seniority. He knows very well that his deployment in South Africa is diversonary. To save his elder brother he had to add his voice in condemning exiled General Ssejusa thus; "You will agree with me General that I joined the revolution at the stage of FRONASA in 1979 during the war against Iddi Amin while you were completing your LLB at Makerere University.......... During the bush war, in 1981 while i was commanding Lutta Unit, you were parachuted to the rank of Member of High Command equivalent to Brig while some of us like Gen Kuteesa, Joram, and myself who had done a one year Officer Cadet course at Monduli, commissioned as Lts and also commanded UNLA units were made Senior Officers equivalent to Major and non of us complained or deserted. Life went on, so talking about rapid promotions and parachutes, you were the first beneficiary and it could not stop with you. Sir, when shall we start respecting this revolution; treating it as our parent and begin addressing our personal issues to the right fora instead of fighting the young generation of officers whom we need to guide and sit behind as they consult us. At your age and mine, what new ideas do we intend to provide .........UPDF is a politically awake force. No one will follow you."

This is the exact language that Museveni whishes to hear from his cadre soldiers. With that strong statement Brig. Kashaka's loyalty was cleared and the fate of his jailed brother sealed. Brig. Kashaka's woes started when he was the Chief Of Staff and he was accused of having issued out to Dr. Besigye his discharge Certificate for retirement from the army. The authorities who had intended to block his retirement,  realised when it was too late and Dr. Besigye declared his 'treasonous act' of running for the presidency against Museveni. For the same reasons, Brig. Kashaka was put on Katebe (grounded) and has remained on the same rank for the past over one decade.

Therefore, given the forces at play the former Permanent Secretary John Kashaka will neither serve the jail sentence nor refund the lost money. His release on bail was no doubt directed by Museveni. Recall at one time during the inquiry into theft of Global Fund money then Health Minister Brig. Jim Muhweezi told Justice Ogola that "When we were fighting in the bush some of you were hiding under your beds." Where were Justices Gidudu and Salome Bossa when the Kashakas were fighting in the bush???????

INFORMATION IS POWER


Friday, 21 November 2014

'BILOGICAL SUBSTANCE' IS KILLED AT KCCA, KAMPALA

In the late 80s, Commander Kajabago Karusoke who is a leading Museveni regime ideologist appeared before the Human Rights Commission where he categorised Ugandans into biological substances and humans. He argued that the biological substances were those they (NRA) had defeated and dislodged from power and that they should be eliminated. That statement generated a lot of anger more especially from people of the north and north eastern regions of Uganda who until Museveni came to power had dominated the security services. Clarifying the same assertion in a 1999 interview with the New Vision newspaper, Kajabago said; "The people we fought against were mere biological substances. They were kidnapping, looting and killing innocent people."  Commander Kajabago Karusoke 76 is a son of former Tooro Kingdom Prime Minister Andrea Rusoke. He studied political science at the Moscow State University. Was an active UPC member in the early 60s before John Kakonge was dislodged from the Secretary Generalship. In 1980 he joined Museveni's UPM and was Secretary General for Jinja Branch. He was briefly detained by the security services in 1981. In 1985, he joined Museveni's NRA in Fort Portal and had basic military drills at Semuliki Game Reserve before he was assigned to the NRA Political School from he rose to become the leading ideologist.

TODDLER KILLED AT KCCA OFFICE
Early this week, the Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA) arrested vendors who were illegally hawking merchandise in down town Kampala. Among those arrested was a breastfeeding mother of two years Ryan (RIP) who had been vending bananas. Having spent a night in a Police cell, Ryan's mother was produced before the Magistrate at the court located within the KCCA head office. The toddler's grandmother carried the baby from home to the court premisses so that the detained mother could breastfeed it but the law enforcement officers could not allow suspect mother to access her hungry toddler. The avoid the toddler's hunger cries from distracting court proceedings, its grandmother had to take it outside where she took shelter from where the toddler crawled away beneath the parked KCCA official car. As the driver was reversing the car, it ran over the same toddler and killed it instantly.
The incident sparked off outrage from both the family and political leaders against the brutal way the KCCA law enforcement agents were going about their law enforcement operations against the economically hard hit members of the society. The Executive Director of KCCA Jenifer Musisi apologised to the bereaved family and facilitated the burial of the toddler. The Minister for the Presidency in Charge of Kampala City Council Authority Frank Tumwebaze who looked more concerned about the security of the installation issued a statement to the effect that; "... the incident shows security laxity at KCCA. Whether the child had an attendant or not, KCCA security should have the capacity to detect any movement within the court premisses ...."

3. KCCA LAW ENFORCEMENT
Like other sector, Museveni has Militarised KCCA law enforcement operations. The state security operatives are using the cover of city law enforcement to monitor every corner of the city. That is why the so called law enforcement officers are carrying out arrests while not in the KCCA official uniform. The guy who is heading the security law enforcement department is Kituuma Moses Rusoke who is a son of Commander Kajabago Karusoke. He was assigned to this office following the illegitimate denial of the elected Lord Mayor from accessing his office at the KCCA. The regime fearing that the Lord Mayor may mobilise the city dwellers to forcefully reclaim his throne, it deployed Kituuma Moses Rusoke to take charge of security at KCCA and law enforcement in the city. Kituuma M. Rusoke is a Military/Police officer who joined the security services after graduating from Makerere University in 2006. By 2012 he was a Personal Assistant to the Inspector General Of Police before he was assigned as the District Police Commander at Old Kampala. When he failed to block Dr. Besigye from accessing the city centre during the 2012 deomonstrations, Kituuma Rusoke was transferred to Kiboga as the DPC. From Kiboga he was moved to Wakiso in 2013 from where he was seconded to head the Directorate of Operations in KCCA. The regime believes that the masses may resort to mass demonstrations against oppression hence taking no chances by making efforts to relocate  vendors/hawkers and taxi/bus operators  from the city center. No doubt, that is the reason Commander Kituuma Moses Rusoke is heading the brutal security/law enforcement efforts at KCCA. Kajabago karusoke and now Kituuma Kakajabago; like father, like son!!!!

INFORMATION IS POWER

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

RESOLVING THE MYSTERY OF SAM MUGUMYA

Sam Mugumya is a young man who has been an active opposition activist and who also doubles as an aide to leading opposition politician Col (rtd) Dr.Kiiza Besigye. Early this month the Uganda army spokesman broke the news of his mysterious disappearance when he stated that "Finally we have him." He went ahead to reveal that Sam Mugumya had been arrested in the eastern DRC where he was involved in subversive activities against the Uganda government. Shortly thereafter the ruling party spokesman who also doubles as the Head of the regime's mouth piece the Uganda Media Centre, Ofono Opondo released photos  on a half naked Sam Mugumya that had been taken from his captivity.

Since then the opposition has piled pressure on the Embassy of DRC in Kampala and the Uganda Ambassador in the DRC to confirm the presence of Sam Mugumya and ensure his safety. Unfortunately no pressure has been exerted on the government of Uganda. The DRC Ambassador to Uganda initially denied the presence of Sam Mugumya in the custody of the DRC government.  It is the midst of this guess work that the Congolese army Brigade Commander of eastern DRC publicly declared that Sam Mugumya had been arrested in DRC for illegal entry and that he was being transferred to the capital Kinshasha for further investigation.

Unfortunately even with this declaration opposition activists are still seemingly puzzled over how to locate and secure Sam Mugumya. It was very okay for Dr. Besigye when he appealed to DRC's President Kabila to exercise restraint in handling the Sam Mugumya's arrest. Efforts to present petitions to the DRC Embassy in Kampala have been blocked by the Uganda Police on allegations that the the opposition intends to breach the security of the embassy. The government is now exploiting this pressure by the opposition on the DRC embassy to concoct a security breach that would antagonise the DRC and Uganda opposition.

Sam Mugumya has a right to be in DRC for whatever reason even if he was planning subversion against the Kampala regime because the constitution guarantees that more especially where the conditions are ripe. The DRC government that arrested him ought to ask themselves about the status of thousands of M23 fighters who are in Uganda if they had entered Uganda legally. The Uganda opposition should engage the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) which has a tracing program for politically missing persons. It is only the ICRC that can engage the DRC government instead of the innocent DRC Ambassador in Kampala and the Uganda Ambassador to DRC who is part of complainants against Sam Mugumya. The opposition should not waste resources and time by traveling to DRC not until the ICRC has located Sam Mugumya. The opposition, relatives and friends of Sam Mugumya should go to the ICRC office and write  letters to Mugumya Sam which the ICRC will deliver to Sam Mugumya and who will in turn write back. ICRC has special forms on which such letters are written by detainees and their friends and family members. However, such letters are screened by the detaining authorities in order to filter out bad or incriminating messages. Dr. Besigye and others may not know this but at least Gen. Mugisha Muntu having been a former Director of Military Intelligence and army Commander should be in the know. No doubt Mugumya was arrested by the army and is in custody of the army wherever he is. Therefore, normal courts, Lawyers, immigration officers and diplomatic channels are irrelevant in the circumstances. Its only the internationally respected ICRC that had the mandate to trace and access Sam Mugumya. Good enough the Army officer committed the DRC government in having custody of Mugumya otherwise he would have disappeared without trace. It is only once the ICRC has accessed Mugumya that it will upon Mugumya to decide if he is to seek asylum in the DRC and in turn it will be the government who will call upon the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) to handle Sam Mugumya.

The opposition, friends and family of Mugumya should go to court and apply for writ of herbeas corpus against the Attorney General of Uganda to produce Sam Mugumya. This will be based on the fact that the two (Ankunda nd Ofono Opondo) are servants of the Uganda government and have not only stated but gone ahead to prove (photo) that they have access to and control on Mugumya while in captivity no matter wher . In parliament the leader of the opposition should move a motion seeking the leader of the government business to clarify on the statements made by the two regime spokespersons. Its good they committed themselves that they know where Mugumya is but there is a motive for doing so as there is a major purge and arrests in the offing. While the opposition is wasting time in petitioning the wrong bodies, the regime is busy squeezing Mugume's testes and plotting on how to frame some members of the opposition. It is not by surprise that Capt Amon Byarugaba charged with involvement with PRA over ten years ago and detained in Makindye has been asked to defend himself (prima-facei case) against the charges at a time when Dr. Besigye's Sam Mugumya is held by DRC.

Now that Sam Mugumya is reported to be in Kinshasha, if it is true because Congolese commanders can be funny,  then he is out of danger because these Congolese rag tag local Commanders are not reliable. Ugandans struggling against the Museveni totalitarianism should be cautious with these Congolese local commanders. Its these local Commanders who took Sam Mugumya's photos and shared them with Uganda authorities before Kinshasha intervened to have him transferred to the capital. They tied Col Kashilingi with ropes and handed him over to Uganda in return for very small money and a motor cycle and betrayed the PRA boys in Ituri. Former MP Kopoi is surviving simply because he is in Kinshasha as opposed to these other places in eastern DRC.

INFORMATION IS POWER.


TON OF IVORY STOLEN IN #UGANDA - FRUITS OF MILITARISATION, #POACHING



INCIDENT
It is reported that over one ton (1335kgs) of ivory has gone missing from the strong rooms of Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA). In a press release, UWA has confirmed the development thus "Our intelligence unit staff while on routine check up, discovered some irregularities in the management of the stores where confiscated ivory is kept." It is also reported that Museveni ordered for a thorough investigation and as such the Police, the anti graft body (IGG) and the INTERPOL have swung into action. UWA has is also reported to have suspended five of its officers including the Chief Ranger and the intelligence officers.

SOURCE OF IVORY
The ivory in UWA's custody originates from the following sources: -
-   ivory collected from elephants that die from natural causes in different national parks
-   ivory recovered from poachers by different national parks
-   ivory confiscated by custom authorities while in transit from Uganda
-   ivory seized by UWA officers from illicit dealers in urban centres
Such ivory is in two forms i.e. raw ivory (in its original form) and worked ivory (processed/curved into ornaments and trophies).

STORAGE
During the time of Uganda National Parks (UNP), each national park stored its own recovered ivory. A few stocks especially of seized ivory were stored by the head office in Kampala in the stores that are located within the premises of the Zoo in Entebbe. In the mid 90s when UNP transformed into UWA, all the ivory reserved in different national parks was removed and piled into the head office store in Entebbe Zoo. The same store served as an arms store for UWA guns and other wildlife trophies like rhino horns, leopard skins, etc. This store was managed and run by only one store man by the names of Prosper Waska. By structure, this store man fell under and was only answerable to the Executive Director.

UWA GETS AN IVORY STRONG ROOM
When UWA constructed its own state of the art headquarters on Kiira Road next to the National Museum in Kampala, it provided for a modern strong room where all the ivory stocks from the former Entebbe Zoo stores were shifted and stored. This strong room is so secure that it can only be accessed through a password protected locking system operated by three officers at once. The door to the strong room can only be opened after entering the password in the right sequence or combination.

The password was contributed by three different staff members with each person contributing and keeping a few letters/digits that made up the password. Therefore, one needs all the three passwords contributing officers to be present to access the strong room. It is reported that for unclear reasons, with time the number of people contributing to the password reduced from three to only one and the password system was replaced by use of ordinary padlock and keys.

STORE MAN ARRESTED
Around 2012 UWA discovered theft of ten pieces of ivory from its strong room. Out of the ten pieces only two were recovered from its own store man Prosper Wasike who was dragged to police. UWA has a method of marking all its stocks of ivory with a special label that is not easy to erase. These labels contain the serial number, date and weight of any piece of ivory and such data is entered the general register.

While the case against Prosper Wasike was being handled by the Police at CPS, a consignment of 440 pieces of raw ivory and 372 pieces if worked ivory was seized by custom authorities at Entebbe airport. Surprisingly, among the seized pieces of ivory there were three pieces that bore UWA labels! The matter was swept under the carpet and now we can see the outcome.  Prosper Wasike was simply dismissed from employment. For further reading visit Google and simply type in (Uganda wildlife authority/prosper Wasike).

UGANDA IS AN IVORY TRANSIT CENTRE
Since Museveni and Kagame caused turmoil in eastern DRC in the late 90s, there has been a lot of carnage against elephants and heavy illegal ivory trade transiting to and through Uganda from DRC. The Uganda army has been implicated in illicit trade in ivory, precious minerals and timber from DRC. In 2004 a consignment of 3.8 tons of ivory suspected for having either originated from or transited through Uganda and shipped from Mombasa was impounded in China. Joint investigations by UWA and Kenya Wildlife services was at the verge of breaking through the mystery of the source of this consignment when the Uganda government arrested and charged of treason the UWA officer who was part of the investigation team.

For further reading visit Google and simply type (why Kampala is the heart of illegal ivory trade) or newvision.co.ug/why Kampala is the heart of illegal ivory trade. Among many other embarrassing incidents are the 250 kgs of ivory got lost from Makindye Magistrates court where it had been exhibited in a criminal trial the District Police Commander of Kiryandongo being intercepted at Matuga with stocks of ivory in a Police truck. Note: Kiryandongo district borders with Murchison Falls National Park.

UWA INTELLIGENCE OFFICERS
Museveni's security machinery picked more interest in UWA around 2004 following the arrest over alleged treasonous activities by a UWA investigator. Since then state intelligence agencies have overtaken over the overseeing security and law enforcement in UWA. Squads of intelligence operatives are attached to different levels of structures of the wildlife body. A senior army intelligence officer is seconded to UWA to coordinate this role. First it was Lulu Itipa from President's office, them Maj. Peter Kashure from CMI, them Col. Henry Isoke from CMI and currently its Col. Charles Tusiime from CMI.

In August 2013, a total of 80 game rangers completed an intelligence training course at the army's school of Military Intelligence and Security (SOMI) at the Fort Portal army barracks. The pass out was presided over by the army Deputy Chief of Defence Forces (D/CDF). The course content was comprised of; security intelligence, counter intelligence, operational intelligence, criminal intelligence, reconnaissance, general intelligence and political education (NRM ideological indoctrination). The course content reveals more of a military intelligence training syllabus that a wildlife law enforcement oriented training. There are several conservation oriented organisations that can offer proper wildlife law enforcement training to UWA rangers better than the army's military intelligence.

Such training would encompass techniques in gathering intelligence on poachers and analysing it using modern equipment like cameras fixed with GPS units for photographic evidence, scene of crime management, undercover operations to trap illegal wildlife dealers, and wildlife crime database all aimed at gathering evidence for court room convictions. However, there is a sinister reason why instead the army opted to impose their military intelligence training on rangers. It is from among these so-called intelligence officers that UWA selected a few and posted them at the head office to manage the ivory strong room.

MILITARISATION OF WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT
During the time of UNP, Museveni viewed the rangers, their Director Dr. Edroma and the then Tourism Minister Gen Moses Ali with suspicion. When UWA replaced UNP, the government banned the wildlife body from procuring and managing its own arms and instead the army took over provision and monitoring the use of arms by UWA. Initially because of grave incidents of insecurity in most of the national parks where the army had established its permanent presence, Museveni gave orders to shoot on sight any one who strays into the national parks.

In some instances, the rangers have exploited that reckless decree to brutalise the local communities. A Special Wildlife Force for Tourism (SWIFT) drawing its membership from the Police and the army's SFG was created and deployed into the different national parks. In April 2013, a total of 430wildlife rangers were trained by the army and passed out by Museveni at Parra in Murchison Falls National Park. Consequently, the rangers’ neutrality has been compromised thus been targeted, killed and their arms taken by unknown gunmen.

UWA TOP MANAGEMENT CRISIS
Around 2010 when Gen. Kahinda Otafiire was the Minister of Tourism, the government used him to fight and displace the top wildlife managers at the time. The move was motivated by the desire by the ruling clique to access and take control of the huge financial and material resources from the donors and the US dollars’ income from tourism. 

It came at a time when the regime had embarked on taking over control of all semi-autonomous bodies that generate/attract huge amounts of cash and resources i.e. former Customs, KCC, NSSF etc. Consequently, the then Executive Director Moses Mapesa was threatened with charges of treason before he was kicked out together with almost half of the top managers. This unprecedented and unilateral move by the regime left the wildlife body badly crippled whose effects we can now see in the theft of over a ton of ivory from a strong room. Those strong rooms also store arms and other precious wildlife trophies like leopard skins, rhino horns, hippo teeth, etc.

THEFT OF A TON OF IVORY!!!!
By the time of discovering the current theft, the password system had been reinstated and instituted a practice of stocktaking inventories conducted by an internal audit every three months to ensure that loss from the strong room can be detected early.

Theft of such a huge number of ivory stocks from a state of the art strong room must have involved a syndicate of both some top management and security managers. The lame excuse advanced by UWA to the effect that some law enforcement officers would often take out ivory pieces to ensnare suspected illegal ivory dealers does not hold water. Even so, such small pieces of ivory for undercover operations would weigh less than a Kilogram.

Such pieces would always be in the office drawers of UWA investigators since the ivory from the strong room is labeled with a special mark hence unsuitable for ensnaring potential illegal dealers. Also, unlike corruption related cases like bribery where undercover detectives need to trap the suspects with prearranged money/cash, wildlife crime is in most cases the other way around.

Wildlife law enforcement officers are the undercover buyers and all they would need from UWA is hard cash to pretend to be buying from the illegal wildlife dealers. In most cases when sanity reigned at UWA, law enforcement officers would only require management to avail them a white person (Mzungu) to be used as an undercover buyer; for dealers tend to trust whites as potential buyers.

Even the two or three pieces of unmarked ivory that is kept in the office drawers of UWA law enforcement personnel is not for ensnaring suspects but for education purposes i.e. showing informants how different forms of ivory look like and during seminars with other partner law enforcement agencies. Therefore, there is no way an investigator can claim to take away more than a kilogram leave alone a ton of marked ivory to ensnare an illegal dealer.

The army guy that is at the helm of security in UWA under whose nose the ivory has been stolen Col Charles Tusiime has a reputation for having high appetite for primitive wealth accumulation. He is a former mechanic who forgot the spare tyre when Museveni was going to attack Kabamba barracks in 1981. He was later captured by the government and spend much of the bush days in prison. Upon taking over power, he served under Military intelligence where he rose to become the Asst. Director for criminal investigations.

He grossly mismanaged criminal investigations that the abuse of office, theft, diversion of resources, creation of ghost soldiers etc. escalated to unimaginable proportions in the army. During the notorious Violent Crime Crack Unit (VCCU) he deputised ASP Magara before he was seconded to UWA where is currently in Charge of security. The security expertise that he has been rendering to UWA is now bearing fruits. The whole incident is not a surprise but an unfortunate shame to the organisation (UWA) and the regime.

However, there is a sinister motive behind the hasty incorporation of the IGG and INTERPOL in the preliminary inquiries.

INFORMATION IS POWER.

http://changeofguards.blogspot.ca/2014/11/ton-of-ivory-stolen-in-uganda-fruits-of.html


Friday, 14 November 2014

WOULD BRIAN BUKENYA HAVE DEPUTISED MUHOOZI UNDER SFG?

Special Forces Group (SFG) is a 10,000+ strong special force that is under the command of Museveni's son Brig. Muhoozi. It is this force that is the vanguard of Museveni's life presidency project. For the last 28 years Museveni has thrived through the manipulation and personalisation of the security services. He has drawn the security services into politics for his exclusive political survival and jealously guards any other politician from making incursions into the military constituency. Though Museveni regards democratic opposition to his presidency as high treason, he can to some extent tolerate those who express such intentions without encroaching on the security forces arena. For those who dare to cross the red line even with mere verbal expressions, the consequences have been dire. It is against the above back ground that in 2009 his then Vice President Prof. Gilbert Bukenya's son joined the army but died in a road accident just a month before he (s0n) could graduate from the Officer Cadet training. The incident came amidst reports that Prof Bukenya was harbouring intentions of contesting for the Presidency. Museveni had even warned him against alleged secret meetings with army officers. 

In 2003 Museveni appointed Prof. Gilbert Bukenya as his Vice President in order to win the support of both the ethnic Baganda  and the majority Catholics. The Prof. gained some level of popularity when he embarked on countrywide promotion of upland rice growing. His mobilisation skills and popularity did not go well with some of his top cabinet colleagues. Museveni too got concerned since he had anticipated a ceremonial and dormant Vice President like is currently the case with Edward Ssekandi. Around 2005 reports were ripe that Prof. Bukenya was using the cover of promoting upland rice growing to mobilise for his own future political power base. The unsuspecting Prof. at the time exonerated Museveni but pointed fingers at his cabinet colleagues whom he described as; "Mafias were plotting my down fall".  He was referring to the then powerful Amama Mbabazi whom Museveni recently sacked from the positions of Prime Minister and party Secretary General for harboring presidential ambitions too. What the Prof. did not know at the time was that his body guards who were spying on him were not reporting to Mbabazi. Consequently Prof. Bukenya was accused of holding night meetings with top Catholic church leaders, senior army officers and catholics in general. Museveni summoned him for questioning in presence of Amama Mbabazi thus "Who allowed you to meet my commanders at night and speak to them in Luganda?" Prof. Bukenya denied the allegation but confessed to meeting Col Sula Ssemakula arguing that "he (Col. Sula) was only seeking assistance for personal problems." No wonder Col Sula Semakula died in 2005 escaping the wrath of incerceration over the matter but more so his complicity in the NRA atrocities in the Congo. If Prof. Bukenya's son Brian Bukenya had made it to military service, would the Prof. have had first to seek permission from Museveni first in order to talk to him (son) in Luganda language?

Earlier in 2004, the then Internal Security Organisation (ISO) chief Brig. Elly Kayanja was linked to Prof Bukenya's alleged plot to assassinate Museveni so that he (Bukenya) as the Vice President could automatically take over. Elly Kayanja had without consulting other sister security agencies deployed squads of ISO operatives in northern Uganda to hunt down the LRA. His squads were attacked by friendly forces leaving some dead before they were ordered to abandon the project. During the same time, a one Pte Godfrey Musisi was intercepted by Museveni's guards when he had got close to where Museveni was while in possession of a loaded pistol during the COMESA summit in Kampala. Musisi had retired from the army but Brig. Kayanja had brought him back and deployed him in ISO. Musisi was initially charged with treason and remanded at Kigo prison before he was convicted six years later for conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline that carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Like the proverbial fly that refuses advice and follows the corpse to the grave, Prof. Bukenya did not learn any lessons from those early warnings. In 2009 he consulted Museveni over his son's interest in joining the army. Museveni gave a green light and Brian Bukenya 26, a Lawyer proceeded for Officer Cadet training. He died in November 2009 in a road accident one month before graduating. All the other five occupants of the accident car survived including the driver who reported himself to the Police two days later. Museveni told mourners that he would investigate to establish if the victims of that accident had been using seat belts. Journalist Simon Kasyate wrote in memory of his friend and old boy Brian Bukenya about when he last met him and had asked about his (Brian) plans; "I am working out something with Mzee, ......... Man we have to shape the future of this country." Of course poor Brian did not know that the future of Uganda was not supposed to be shaped by anybody else other than Museveni and his Son Brig. Muhoozi whom he is breeding to take over from him in future. Did Prof. Bukenya ever imagine why all other NRM top leaders and army officers had not dared to second their sons to the army!!!

In 2010 Prof. Bukenya while still the Vice President defied Museveni and contested against Amama Mbabazi for the position of party Secretary General but was rigged out. The following year 2011 Museveni dropped Prof. Bukenya from the position of Vice President. In a subsequent interview ruled out any intention of contesting for the the presidency against Museveni but instead promised 100% support to Museveni thus "He is supper. He has a heart of gold. Some people accused me to him that I was mobilising to overthrow him. He even called me to a meeting with those people. When I left, as human I was terrified. I looked around for soldiers to bump me off. They did not come that day, the following day and even today. The President has a good sense of judgement."
Shortly after that he was arrested and charged with abuse of office over a 2007 Commonwealth Heads of Governments Meeting (CHOGM) where over 500 billion shillings was swindled through fake procurement of goods and services. On being sent to prison, Prof. Bukenya shed tears. With Museveni's support he was later exenorated and cleared of any wrong doing. According to Museveni's methods of work he has achieved his goal by humiliating the anbitious Bukenya with prison while gaining public confidence that he was serious with fighting corruption. Still, Prof. Bukenya continued to exenorate Museveni from his woes but heeped blame on Mbabazi and company of 'mafias'. In March 2014 while reacting to the ongoing woes for the Mbabazis, Prof. Bukenya wrote a piece to the press titled "What you sow is what you reap" in which he stated thus "I must confess though that my disagreement with Museveni and NRM party of late has never been on the leadership style of the leaders........."

In 2013 Prof Bukenya publicly expressed doubt about the government version of events surrounding his son's demise in a road accident. He claimed that the government had deliberately denied access to the postmortem report ever since. Prof. Bukenya has reluctantly declared his intention to contest for the President and on some occasions has been seen in the company of opposition party activities.

How Museveni can dupe both peasants and Professors is the big question!!! As to how his son Brian Bukenya would have fared in the army when his father would be contesting against Museveni for the Presidency is another puzzle. What befell Brian Bukenya (RIP) is a lesson to any right thinking Ugandan. Imagine a whole Governor Bank of Uganda recently admitted to having been duped by Museveni to release huge sums of cash from public coffers for electioneering in 2011 tat resulted in unprecedented inflation. The Governor vowed never to bow to pressure again. 

INFORMATION IS POWER.











Sunday, 9 November 2014

TIME TO REAP - 5000 GUNS MISSING IN LANGO!

This week several press reports indicate that 5000 SMGs (sub machine guns) are illegally held in Lango sub region. The 5000 reportedly missing ones are part of about 12000 that had been given out by the army to the Amuka civil militia group during the LRA insurgency for Lango region alone. The militia group was later disbanded and its members demoblised. Quoting the army's 5th  Division spokesmen Lt. George Musinguzi who confirmed thus "much as some of the combatants were integrated into the UPDF and Police, many of them stayed behind and did not return the guns in their possession." A former member of the Amuka militia Joseph Onyango Okello claims that "Even powerful people aligned to the ruling party never returned their guns." The Resident District Commissioner (RDC) of Lira George Odong confirmed this fear thus "Disarmament and recovery of guns from from Amuka militia was not done in a proper way." This development comes amidst reports of the region and in particular its capital Lira being hit by a wave of insecurity characterised by unresolved armed robberies and murder of prominent residents.

At the height of the LRA insurgency in northern Uganda, government decided to forcefully remove all people from their homes and horded them into camps that were termed Internally displaced People's (IDP) camps. The move was aimed at isolating the insurgents from the population that was believed to be supporting the insurgency. Because the army was thin on the ground, it decided to create local civil militias to provide security for the IDPs. In Teso and Acholi sub regions the militias were called Arrow Boys and Home Guards respectively. In Lango is came to be known as Amuka while in Karamoja it was the Anti-Stock Theft Unit (ASTU). In the rest of the country similar local militias had all along been referred to as Local Defence Forces/Units (LDU/F).

In Lango Hon Felix Okot Ogong speaheaded the creation of the Amuka militias in 2003. He convened a meeting at Uganda Technical College Lira where a resolution was unanimously agreed by the general populace of Lango. The over 10000 volunteers underwent a crash training by the army at Aler farm located nine kms from Lira town. In November 2003 Hon Okot Ogong was quoted by the BBC as appealing to government to release 10000 guns to cater for the 20 militias for each of the 2249 villages. A total of 12,000 (including about 100 females) militias were trained alongside some district leaders like the then RDC Charles Engwau Egou, LC 5 boss Ojul and some councillors.

The training was conducted by the army's 403 Brigade and the officer directly in-charge was then Lt. Col Jim Byarugaba. The Brigade Commander then Lt Col J.B Mulindwa oversaw the armament of the militias. In Dec 2003 The then Minister of Health Capt Mike Mukula who was the patron of the Arrow Boys in Teso visited the Amuka boys at Aler farm and addressed them thus "When you finish Kony, the guns you have will remain in the region.......so that you can protect yourself." The then Minister of State for Defence Ruth Nankabirwa on a tour of Lango region called on the trainees and assured them of salary and arms. Due to harsh conditions, some of the militias deserted before completing training. In January 2004 the then Army Commander Aronda also visited the trainees at Aler farm where he apologised for the one meal a day that was being given to the trainees claiming that he did not know! Of course their food supplies were being diverted and sold off by some thieving army officers. At the time of passing out the army spokesman made the famous pronouncement to the effect that the LRA had been decimated to less than one hundred who were even fleeing to Sudan. To disprove him, on 21st Feb 2004 the LRA struck Barlonyo IDP camp that had a population of about 4000 people and was at the time guarded by only 35 Amuka militias. The poorly trained and inadequately equipped militias simply fled leaving the LRA to kill over 200 people. This incident was followed by violent protests by the Langi community who accused the Acholi community of being sympathetic to the LRA. On 24th February 2004 Museveni presided over the burial of the massacred people where he pledged to honor the dead by building a health centre, technical college and a bridge in the area.  The aim of creating a militia to guard the camp had failed ab-initial because the militias had been diverted from their role of guarding the camps to carrying out operations against the LRA alongside the army away from the camps. The IDPs had been duped into enlisting for the civil militia to guard their camp.

 These militiashad been recruited against the background of political and economic pressure. Museveni had opportunistically reduced the size of the NRA through demoblisation meant to cut down the defence expenditure. Unknown to the donors, the huge defence budget was not going to the foot soldiers but was being stolen by some commanders. The youth in the camps feared to be branded LRA collaborators, had no means of economic survival but more so there was no adequate protection for the camps by the army. For fear of the donors and direct liability for the actions of these militias, the government claimed that the militias were under the Ministry of Internal Affairs but recruited, trained, commanded, armed, and supplied by the army. Some of the NRA commanders in charge of these militia units were accused of torturing, unfair dismissal, and diversion of salaries meant for these militias through the usual NRA practice of creating 'ghost' payments. As if that was not enough the militias were being deployed away from the camps to carry out military operations against the LRA away from their mother camps. All these anomalies led to a big number of militias to desert. because the commanders were more interested in continuing to draw the salaries meant for these militias, the deserters were not declared and their army uniforms and guns were not being retrieved. Some militias were even deployed as far as DRC during the NRA Congo adventure.

The militias had been created without putting in place any legal framework. With time these militias became a source of insecurity as they would harass, rob, torture, and kill the very people they were supposed to protect. The 1995 constitution Article 208 stipulated that "No person shall rise an armed force except in accordance with this constitution." Article 222 empowered parliament to make laws to regulate the posession and use of firearms and ammunition.The NRA Statute had provided for but did not specify "persons who had been asked to come and work alongside the  UPDF - such other officers and militants attached to the regular force under arrangement made by government." Despite repeated appeals by parliament and the general public, government was adamant to come up with a legal framework to define the status of militias. As such these militias operated in an atmosphere of impunity. In May 2006 five Amuka militias were sentenced by the 403 Brigade court martial  to four years imprisonment for murdering 12 and injuring a dozen civilians. Museveni who always dupes Ugandans that his army kills its members who kill civilians, this  four years sentence was a mockery. In 2002, the African Center for the treatment and rehabilitation of torture victims had ranked the local defence personnel in country ahead of the Police and the army in human rights violations. The criminal Case of David Kironde Vs Mukono District Administration and the Attorney General, it was ruled over torturous acts by LDUs thus "even if there is no statute defining their status, they are servants of the government because they are trained and armed by government to maintain law and order."

In 2005 the Armed Forces Act replaced the NRA Statute at a time government was considering to disband the militias. At the time it was estimated that there were about 38000 militias throughout the country. For the Amuka militias of Lango sub region, its only 5000 out of 12,000 tat were reported to have been formally demoblised. At the time government could not account for the where about of the remaining number. The officials concerned with the exercise were more preoccupied with payments of the outstanding salary areas than the security aspect. A number of army officers were briefly suspended and accorded mock trials in connection with theft of militias payments. One example is of then Capt Kiwanuka Mohamed (the guy who had been used to infiltrate the rebel (PRA) who was detained for stealing payments meant for the ASTU in Karamoja. Then Lt Col Dick Olum was in charge of the Lira barracks where outstanding payments for ex Amukas were being processed in 2007. A budget of 24.56 billion shillings was approved under the Ministry of Defence for payment of salary arrears for the ex militias.   At Abia in Alebtong district Museveni addressed the demoblised militias and promised them  government facilitation of ox plough, a pair of oxen and 30 iron sheets to each member as a resettlement package. By 2005, 4000 of these militias had been conscripted into the army and the police to bolster the 2006 elections security. Some of the former militias were conscripted and given extra military training at Singo Training School around 2006. Already some of these militias were being used to harass political opponents of the regime. The case of Lt. Magara who shot into the Dr. Besigye campaign procession killing and maiming is a case in point. In 2012  some of the the ex militias were later re-moblised for the Somali mission.

A number of former Amuka militias whose salary payments had been stolen by the some army officers sued government but the case has dragged on and remains un resolved.  In 2013 the Army 5th Division Spokesman had this to say about the militia's demands "Those complaining of non payment are part of the fighters who had deserted at the time when they were being paid in 2007." Hon Okot Ogong attempted to moblise the ex militias into an association that would attract economically viable projects. He even made efforts to mobilise the Lango parliamentary group to initiate a petition to government to look int the plight of the ex militiamen. The government remained adamant since it has used them to defeat the LRA and no longer needed them. The government acknowledged its failures in protecting the property of the people of Lango by granting a 2.9 trillion shillings compensation for the livestock lost during the insurgency. It is alleged that the livestock from Lango was stollen by the Karamojong because the later had guns but the former had just lost power (guns) to Museveni. Now Museveni claims to have succeeded in disarming the Karimojong while indirectly arming the Langis!!! In 2012 the government initiated a voluntary handing in of arms by the former Amuka militias but the move did not bear any fruit. Now with the surge of illegal arms - orchestrated insecurity hitting Lango, the government is panicking. It is not easy to trace the ex Amuka militias who did not hand in the guns because the whole arming had been done in a mischevious way right from day one. The confusion had been deliberate so as to deny accountability. Imagine in one incident in 2006 where a soldier a one Martin Wacha who died from Kapchorwa was ferried and buried in Lira as Ambrose Adiga son of Martin Agweny but the real Ambrose Adiga appeared at his home in 2010. Defence Minister Kiyonga personally delivered five million shillings compensation to the agrieved family  before the unidentified body was retrieved and reburied in the Kapeka.

The phenomena of illegally issuing out arms by the Museveni regime is not restricted to the insurgency regions of the north and north eastern. Since its emergence the NRA has been issuing out arms to the so called cadres, political mobilisers, contacts, LC officials, and other party faithfuls in the western region and parts of central and eastern region. Through mchaka mchaka programs (political indoctrination), the slogan was that Museveni was diminstifying the gun that which had been a monopoly of the northern region. Individual army officers and well connected government officials have always armed their workers, relatives and friends.

This is how Museveni is credited for effectively managing security! You reap what you sow.

INFORMATION IS POWER.





Thursday, 6 November 2014

SOMALIA - PEACE MISSION OR A MUSEVENI ARMY WELFARE SCHEME!!!

Since 2007 Museveni's army has been in Somalia and boosts of the highest number of troops (6223) of the other five contributing countries. Ever since his army has been stationed in the capital Mogadishu and occupies the so called Sector One that covers the Presidential Palace, Parliament, Ministry headquarters, international airport and seaport. The so called 'Uganda Contingent' is the custodian of the shaky Somali government.

When it had just taken up the Somali venture, the Minister of Defence informed the Uganda parliament that there had been a Memorandum of Understanding between Uganda's Ministry of Defence (MOD) and African Union (AU). The MOU stipulated among others the hire charges for the military equipments and the 50,000$ compensation for the dead and injured and the 125$ deductions from the monthly payments of each soldier that was according the Defence Minister supposed to cover administrative costs. Since then the as to how much was accrued from the hire charges remains a mystery and the recent crush of the Ugandan helicopters in Kenya en route to Somalia is a classic example of Uganda's unaccounted losses. Even the compensation for the dead and injured is not paid to all beneficiaries; the very few lucky ones who access it undergo alot of stress as one has to either be 'connected' to powerful officers in order to get paid.

Initially, Ugandan soldiers would serve only six months in Somalia before they are replaced but later on it was changed to one year. Since then different contingencies of  Ugandan troops have served in Somalia. Given Uganda's lion's share of troop contribution, in the next few years either every members of the Uganda army will have served in Somalia or the lucky ones will have served there twice or more. In Museveni's army where until the emergence of the Somali mission welfare for ordinary soldiers was very appalling, the opportunity to serve in Somalia is almost every soldier's dream. The lowest pay for a soldier in Uganda is 326000 shillings (about 130$). With little pay, poor welfare and rampant theft by commanders, the advent of the Somali mission was God sent. While serving in Somalia the same lowest piad soldier earns 828$ (about 2,000,000 shillings) on top of his usual salary back at home. For ordinary soldiers, it is only a tour of duty in Somalia that can land him/her to earn good money, proper clothing, medical and housing facilities that he/she never hoped to ever get. That is why after the tour of duty in Somalia a good number of them opt to desert the army. The army has been deducting some 200$ from each soldier serving in Somalia against their will under the guise of contributing to the army Credit Society (SACCOS). The army tried a loan scheme in the late 80s that was mismanaged by Brigadier Elly Kayanja who sswept it clean and it collapsed in its infancy. With the 50,000$ (about 127 million shillings) entitlement as compensation for the dead and injured,  many Ugandan families whose loved ones perished in Congo, Sudan, Rwanda, Luwero and northern Uganda wish they had died in Somalia!!! The survivor benefits for fallen soldiers has always been swindled in highly organised syndicates involving army officers and officials in public service and banks. Some years back arrests and suspensions were made in this regard but we are yet to see prosecution and recovery of the stolen survivor's benefits.

 However, the cost of getting the opportunity to serve in Somalia is high. The different Unit commanders demand a monetary bribes for candidates to be nominated before proceeding to the AMISOM Peace training school in Uganda. Even while at the training school the candidate is subjected to further bribery in order to qualify or else he can be eliminated on flimsy grounds of medical, indiscipline etc. In some cases candidates are seconded by their God fathers in the army and government. Once they have made it to Somalia, the ordinary soldiers still face the wrath of their thieving commanders who sell off their essential supplies like fuel and food. However, the practice is not new; it has been a tradition right from the time of the guerrilla war in Luwero, in powerr and even during other military adventures in the DRC and Sudan. In the bush during the early 80s Museveni argued that "it was vital to maintain a healthy command structure" at the expense of the ordinary soldier. Museveni has been condoning thieving in the army in order to win loyalty by his commanders. From the army the vice spread to the other government sectors and has not taken root in the general Ugandan society. Primitive accumulation of ill-gotten wealth is one of the identities/qualifications of cadreship of his ruling clique.

It took a top an American government official to rise alarm before Museveni pretended to take action against thieving officers. While flagging off a contingent of his soldiers to Somalia at Singo in December 2013 Museveni revealed thus "These white people called me that your army is good but they are also thieves". Museveni went on to say that he did not want thieves in his army and that he would sack whoever condoned thieving. Thereafter, a series of uncoordinated investigation teams descended on the Ugandan contingent in Somalia. Amidst allegations of shielding the big fish, a few officers were arrested and arigned before the Court Martial so as as usual to hoodwink the public and the donor community. It has since been revealed that it was not only tmere thieving for personal gain but in some instances even directly aiding the enemy Al-shabab. The Uganda army isalleged to at some point knowingly trained 10 members of the Al-shabab, sold fuel and ammunitions to the militant group.

Currently a number of army officers including the Commandant of the Singo based Peace training school have been suspended pending investigations into allegations of selling slots meant for the Somali peace mission. The allegation is not news to the authorities and therefore the current suspension could bemore  prompted by the recent Human Rights Watch reports of sexual exploitation and abuse of Somali women by Museveni;s army. Museveni can not take any tangible disciplinary action against his army officers for thieving because he lacks the moral authority. He is using the Somali Mission as a tool to hold the west at ransom, to improve the welfare of his soldiers and attract military aid. He does not wish to see the Somali Mission ending and that is why whenever he is faced with a critical political situation at home its when the Alshabab intensifies its attacks in Mogadishu. Whenever the west question his totalitarianism, he threatens to withdraw his troops from Somalia and then they back off.

The Uganda Contingent is Somalia is at the heart of the successive Somalia governments.  For the last consecutive seven years, it has been ranked by Transparency International as the world's most corrupt government. In Museveni and his army the Somali government finds a matching partner. The Somali government is accused of gross misappropriation and mismanagement of millions of dollars in donor assistance and domestic revenue arising from the Uganda army controlled Mogadishu international airport and seaport. The Museveni army contigents in foreign lands like was the case in DRC have a reputation of smuggling, aiding smuggling, engaging in business, aiding businessmen and warlords in return for financial gains that benefit top level officials. Unlike what happened in DRC, here has been information block out in the Somali mission partly because of the complicated geographical proximity but more so due to eroded vibrancy in journalism in Uganda. It is highly probable that there are mult-billion fraudlent defence deals involving Museveni and the Somali government targeting donor funds.

Welcoming the returning contingent, the army Chief Gen. Katumba Wamala told them thus "After one year of sacrifice, of sleeping under the sun and the bad weather, use the money you have got to change your lives. At least build a two bedroom house that you will always remember that you were part of the Uganda representation in Somalia." While the advice to properly utilise the hard arned cash is fine, one wonders the fate of those who do not get the chance to serve in Somalia. The statement also encourages bribery by other soldiers in order to get selected for the Somali mission as the only way a Ugandan ordinary soldier can build for himself a two bed roomed house. One would have expected the army chief to urge the returning soldiers to put to use the experience gained from serving in Somalia instead of focusing on the cash earned. No wonder the mission is a money making venture disguised as a peace keeping mission.

INFORMATION IS POWER




Saturday, 1 November 2014

'TERRORISTS' COMPEL AN ELECTED PRESIDENT TO LEAVE POWER!

In 1983 the now ousted Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore in association with other army officers namely Capt.Tomas Sankara, Maj. Boukary Lingano and Capt. Henry Zongo successfully led a revolution in which Tomas Sankara was pronounced President. Sankara's Marxist policies drew him closer to Uganda's Yoweri Museveni who had captured power in 1986. In 987 Blaise Compaore led a coup where by Tomas Sankara was killed. In 1989 Blaise Compaore arrested, charged, summarily tried and executed both Henry Zongo and Boukary Lingano over treasonous allegations. In the same year Uganda's Museveni carried out his first purge against his former comrades in arms. The likes of Kashilingi, Chihandae, Saleh, Col Matovu and others were demoted, retired, detained etc. This was in preparation for the extension of the interim period.

He was first elected as President in 1991 he was elected in an election that was boycotted by the opposition parties. In 2000 a constitutional amendment provided for a two term limit and reduced the years from seven to five for each term. At the end of his two terms in 2005 Compaure announced his intention to contest for the Presidency sparking off violent protests. He sailed through on a technical ground advanced by his Constitutional Council that the 2000 amendment could not be applied retrospectively. It is during the same year that the Uganda's Yoweri Museveni dished out five million shillings cash to members of parliament to remove the term limits that have allowed him to continue in office for 28years now.

In November 2003 Compaure was reelected with  his party (CDP) winning with 83.3%. In 2011 Compaure's hold on power was challenged by violent protests. In February students rioted over the death in custody of a teenage that saw the burning of his Prime Minister's residence and his party headquarters. In April the soldiers including his presidential guards rioted over delayed salary payments. During these incidents, Compaure briefly went into hiding only to resurface once the heat had cooled down. It is during the same year that Museveni once again rigged his way for another term and unleashed his terror machinery against peaceful protesters.

In June 2014 Compaure's ruing CDP party called on him to organise a refrendum that would allow him to alter the constitution in order to escape term limits and seek reelection in 2015. It is almost the same time that Uganda's Museveni chaired his ruling party's caucus during a retreat whereby he was declared the sole candidate for the forthcoming elections. As a followup, Museveni has since then sacked his elected Secretary General and is organising his party's delegates conference to amend the party constitution to provide for his sole candidature. In Burkina Faso the National Assembly was scheduled to debate proposed amendment when the opposition called for a campaign of  civil disobedience until the proposed amendment is withdrawn. The aggrieved citizens rioted by attacking the National Assembly building and set it on fire. If it had been in Museveni's Uganda those citizens would have been branded terrorists and dealt with as such. Moreover before the protests could commence Museveni would organise a hoax in respect of  an imminent terror attack so as to dissuade protesters from converging.

President Compaure reacted by abandoning the proposed constitutional amendment, declaring a state of emergency, and offering to work with the opposition to resolve the crisis. The protesters could not be duped by these concessions but instead demanded for President Compaure's depature from power. The protester's resolve to continue with the struggle prompted the army to announce installation of a transitional government in consultation with all parties, dissolution of parliament, and a return to constitutional order within a year. The military did not come out clean on  the role of President Compaore during the transitional period. Compaure himself had announced that he was ready to leave office at the end of the transition. Instead the protests intensified giving fresh demands for President Compaure's resignation. On 31st October 2014 President Compaure announced that he had left the presidency and called a free and transparent election within 90 days. The army Chief of Staff Gen, Honare Traore took over reigns as head of state but later on Col. Zidi from the Presidential Guard was announced as the new head of state. Former President compaure  was reported to be heading south in a heaving armed convoy.

Like had been the case in Egypt under Mubarak the army in Burkina Faso has hijacked the people's revolution in order to protect Blaise Compaore and the status quo.  Article 43 of the country's constitution provides for the President of the Senate to take over in the event of resignation of the President as has been the case unless the army declares that they have carried out a coup. Blaise Compaure has been both a trouble cause and at the same time a peace maker in the region. He introduced Liberia's Charles Tylor to Gadafi, he was an active mediator in regional issues i.e in Togo, Corte D'ivore, and Mali. Since 1990 11 countries in sub-Saharan Africa have had leaders try to rewrite their constitutions to do away with term limits. 7 of these succeeded (Burkina Faso, Chad, Gabon, Gunea, Namibia, Uganda and Togo). 3 failed (Zambia, Malawi, and Nigeria). In 2010 Nigeria's Mamadou Tadja efforts to extend term limits resulted in a coup. Still in Africa, Angola, Burundi, DRC, Liberia, Siera Leone will amend their constitutions to remove term limits in favor of the incumbent.  Blaise Compoure's party controlled 2/3 (73 out of 111 seats) of parliament. The argument by most autocratic leaders of Africa is that such amendments are done in a democratic manner with explicit consent of the people or their representatives as was the case with Rwanda's Kagame, Uganda's Museveni and Congo's Sassou Ngueso.

MUSEVENI DISAPPOINTED BY BLAISE COMPAURE
President Blaise Compaure belonged to the club of life Presidents where Museveni is the Secretary for Military Suppression of Dissenters. Blaise Compaure's 27 years in power makes him one year junior to Museveni's 28 years in power. Blaise Compaure did not fully privatise the army and place his Presidential Guard under the command of his son so that it could ensure his continued presidency. He failed to build a well equipped and modern police force that would have brutally suppressed the protesters. He failed to use the intelligence services to create a hoax of terrorist attack so that he would exploit to internationally isolate the dissenting protesters. He failed to seek timely alliance with China, Rusia and North Korea that would have provided him with the necessary support to build capacity to cope with such situations.

However, given that Blaise Compaure's record is not as tinted as Museveni's to warrant prosecution by the ICC, Museveni has resolved not to be deterred by his colleague's grave mistakes but to use that development as a catalyist to fully prepare to take the bull by the horns. No doubt Museveni knows that the situation is Uganda is riper than Burkina Faso or northern Africa countries for a civil disobedience. That is why he has always maintained a watchful eye on leading opposition personalities and is trying to relocate taxi/bus parks, markets, petty traders and street vendors fro the city center in order to cripple ease of mobility for any serious potential protest. Museveni has one major weapon; threatening the west to withdraw his troops from Somalia if they dared to condemn his brutal suppression of dissent.

INFORMATION IS POWER